Counseling Matters- Recovering From Community Conflict in Kenya

School Counselor with three students smiling.

Making a difference for students and communities

Scaling up support for guidance and counselling at our schools has been among the core programs at Village Impact for many years.

There is a tradition of political violence in Kenya, be it State-sponsored or private, which climaxes during elections. In the 2007 elections, initially, the violence was spontaneous and a reaction to the government’s perceived rigging of the elections, but it gradually took the form of looting and destruction. Neighbours turned on neighbours based on tribal divisions, and by the end of the month-long violence, over 1100 people had died and at least 350,000 displaced.

Most of the communities with whom we partner in Kenya are in the process of a long recovery from this conflict and trauma. Although impacted socially, politically and economically by their challenging histories, over the last 14 years, we have seen communities grow substantially, including embracing education, abandoning unhealthy cultural beliefs and acknowledging their limitations.

Recovering from generational trauma is slow

Aiding in this process is our Community Engagement team and our School Counselors.

Currently, we have three school counsellors serving three of the six clusters of Village Impact-partner schools. Their work includes supporting overall student wellness and providing for the individual psychosocial, academic and holistic needs of each student who comes to or is referred to them. They also inform and inspire teachers, administration and parents/caregivers about student well-being, child rights and the value of education that positively impacts the learning environment for all students.

In short, they are AMAZING humans and incredibly competent counsellors and colleagues who empower students to create solutions for tomorrow’s challenges!

We’re so grateful for them. Thank you, Milkah, Connie and Joanne—you are gifts to Village Impact and the students we serve.

Pictured is one of our newest Counselors, Joanne, along with students Linet  (red sweater), Milkah and Shanice.